WhatsApp adopts freemium model, goes free on iOS

App developers continue to be inspired by mobile game developers, ditching the paid download system, and instead adopting a freemium or subscription plan. WhatsApp is the latest app to adopt such a change, as the former paid mobile messaging app is now available to download for free on iPhone.

[contextly_sidebar id=”9d7720e024db4ff90bde83c5b0a2bb43″]WhatsApp is now free to users for the first year of service, and costs just $0.99 a year after that promotional period has elapsed. All current iPhone WhatsApp users will be allowed to continue using the service for free, for life.

This update also introduces iCloud support for the storing of message histories. Now, when users upgrade or simply change their phones, they’ll be prompted to download their conversation history the next time they reinstall the app.

WhatsApp launched in April 2010. The application has been available for free during previous promotional periods, but came with a normal price of $0.99 on iPhone. The app recently hit a milestone, processing over 27 billion messages in a single 24-hour period.

Mobile messaging of all kinds continues to grow on iOS and Android.

MessageMe saw more than one million active users join the app after its launch in March, while imo.im announced the launch of video chat in its application this week.

The messaging market continues to be a strong one in Asia as well, with Korea’s Kakao Talk reaching 100 million users earlier this month. China’s WeChat leads that sector, pulling in more than 300 million registered users since launch.

[H/T Techcrunch]